Sen. Brian Schatz (D., Hawaii) said Monday at the annual conference for J Street, a liberal Middle East lobbying group, that liberals need to condemn anti-semitism coming from the left.
Schatz argued in his speech, flagged by Tablet, that it is more difficult but necessary to call out bigotry coming from your side of the political aisle.
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"In one year, anti-Semitic incidents have increased by nearly 60 percent. And frankly, it’s coming from all sides," Schatz said.
He then cited a professor of Holocaust and Genocide studies who documented how Nazis were able to build a movement based in anti-Semitism.
"It’s because the political parties never pushed back. Not the Social Democrats or the Communists in Germany, and not the resistance across the continent," Schatz said.
"We’ve got to remember this," Schatz said, "because the obscene call of anti-Semitism must be condemned every time it is heard."
The Hawaii senator said it's easy to look at another country or political party's anti-semitism and say "Enough! Do better!" but tougher when the problem is internal.
"But we know that we cannot look the other way when people who would otherwise be our progressive allies speak out of ignorance or fear or convenience and they cross a moral line," he said.